Concerns about moderation conduct

General discussions about the Particracy Classic including role-play planning and suggestions.

Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby jellybean » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:26 pm

I've recently learned that a long-standing player, Aquinas, has been permanently banned from the Particracy forums and game. I have not personally witnessed any conduct that would merit a ban, and I have not seen any statement from Moderation, which would be appropriate given Aquinas' role in this community and his recently-raised concerns about his removal from the Discord server (which have not only gone unanswered, but silently removed). In the light of this, I would like to raise some serious concerns about the conduct of Moderation - particularly Vesica - that threaten the viability of Particracy. I do not like to get down in the mud, and I do not like making a post like this. But until there are answers, it will simply be impossible to continue playing Particracy.

As I'm sure many of you are, I'm a big fan of board and tabletop games. And anyone who plays a board game quickly realizes that a game is possible only when rules are transparent, consistent, and fair. Add in a house rule, neglect to follow the written rules, make a few exceptions - and the game quickly falls apart. This is even more true with Particracy, a game with fairly limited in-game mechanics that relies heavily on roleplay and mutual agreement by the players.

Unfortunately, Moderation has failed to consistently and fairly uphold the rules of the game. Moderation's opaque decision-making has been repeatedly questioned by players: see the discussion of plagiarism, or of cultural protocols, or of second account authorizations. Since James and Auditorii have left the moderation team, Moderation's decisions have been hard to understand. Unfortunately, Moderation has mostly failed to provide justifications for their decisions or to answer players' requests for clarification, giving us a rule system that is byzantine at best and subjectively applied at worst.

Most recently, when Aquinas complained of being called a "cancer" and asked to be given a reason for his ban from the Discord server, Moderation quietly deleted his comment on RobMark's thread (which has also gone unanswered) and edited his comment on the Moderation Queries thread. Since many of us already saw those comments, I cannot fathom what Moderation must have been thinking in deleting them. Failing to answer queries is one thing - we all get busy, and we all miss things. I'm not going to get angry over a simple delay in answering a question. But deleting questions is a malicious act that sends the message that Moderation is not to be questioned, and that any attempt to do so will be met with hostility. It silences dissent and player feedback - in fact, I wondered whether I should even bother to write this comment, as there is a good chance Moderation will simply delete it.

Moderation is not running this game in a viable way. As long as rules are inconsistently applied, as long as questions are quietly removed, as long as player efforts to improve the quality of roleplay are met with hostility, Particracy will be unplayable. A roleplay game can only operate with the full trust of the community, and that trust is being threatened by Moderation. Until Vesica steps down from the Moderation team and we receive some commitment to fairly, openly, and honestly apply rules, I personally will be unable to play Particracy. There is simply no point in continuing to invest time and effort into a game without trust and fairness, in which rules are applied or ignored or players banned based on Moderation's whims.
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby Zanz » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:37 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby ChengherRares1 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:42 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby Independent P » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:59 pm

Hi big bitch might here, i don’t even play the game anymore and yet my SUS meter is going through the roof rn. Wee woo wee woo!
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby RandomAccess » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:46 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby Balint » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:08 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby Kubrick » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:10 pm

Unfortunately this thread will be ignored or simply removed. Or by the time they take the time to respond we've just celebrated Christmas. We've had many different kinds of moderators over the last few years, the self-serving types like Farsun, the incapable like Mr.God, even the overly zealous but very competent ones like James. Not to mention the dozens of yes-men and those who were mod for a day. I have to say at this point I even prefer the incompetence of the self-serving and incapable above what we have right now. Vesica has had a reputation for years of being an absent mod, which probably is the reason why nobody ever really had something bad to say about him because well, he never really did anything. This is what happens when the absent mod is forced to finally do something because his co-mod is an even more absent mod than he is. True colours have been shown and it's not a pretty colour. Still no idea who Chitin is but I have to imagine he's President Joe Biden with how forgetful and busy he seems.

So yes, +1, what a disgrace for a mod team we have. Can't wait for the staff endorsed North-American Militia to jump on those who +1'd this.
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby DueWizard70 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:43 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby Augustus Germanus » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:51 pm

+1
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Re: Concerns about moderation conduct

Postby jrandle8 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:53 pm

Hi, Jack here.

I honestly hate doing things like I'm about to do because I am super likable, but I fear I must speak up. Before I begin, I would like to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I will respect that. As we all know, I don't get into altercations with folk and always steer away from a lot of things unless I am personally attacked, which has happened only once since I've been a member of the PT Community from 2014 and onward. I would like to break down jellybeans concerns real quick and then give my own opinions on everything. I am assuming this thread is an open response and that every comment is welcomed.

1. Aquinas Permanent Ban. While I don't like the idea of people being banned, it is sometimes necessary. As a moderator of another game with a massive player base, I too, along with the other moderators, have to make such decisions that won't make some people happy but will, to an extent, remove certain people from the community that invites negativity and toxicity. Jellybean stated:

jellybean wrote:I have not personally witnessed any conduct that would merit a ban, and I have not seen any statement from Moderation, which would be appropriate given Aquinas' role in this community and his recently-raised concerns about his removal from the Discord server (which have not only gone unanswered, but silently removed).

According to Section 1.3 of the game rules, it specifically states that the discussion of any actions taken by Moderation concerning a player being sanctioned, warned, or any other such as banned, are forbidden and that such requests or questions regarding those actions are to be made privately to Moderation or to Wouter, the game owner. This is followed by Section 5.2 and Section 5.3(d) that gives Moderators such right, and I am of course interpreting this as a judge would (welcome to my world...it sucks I know). While I wouldn't specifically use Section 5.3(d) in this case due to some minor language in the context that it is used, it would still apply.

I would like to say that Aquinas ban, while I am not happy with it even though I'm not too fond of him but still have a massive amount of respect for him, I believe this was a necessary in which I will not go into detail of why as I reserve the right to what would be perceived to be my opinion.

2. Moderation Handling of Player Requests and Other Things. It is hard to effectively run a forum-based game with just two moderators, trust me, I was in the same boat in the game I am a moderator in. There were just two of us at one point (supposed to be at least 5 but stuff happens). Requests never fell through, however, it did take time to get to some requests.

jellybean wrote:Unfortunately, Moderation has failed to consistently and fairly uphold the rules of the game. Moderation's opaque decision-making has been repeatedly questioned by players: see the discussion of plagiarism, or of cultural protocols, or of second account authorizations. Since James and Auditorii have left the moderation team, Moderation's decisions have been hard to understand. Unfortunately, Moderation has mostly failed to provide justifications for their decisions or to answer players' requests for clarification, giving us a rule system that is byzantine at best and subjectively applied at worst.

While my previous statement has little to do with this comment, I feel as if I still needed to say it. In Moderation's defense, there's just two of them, should be three but that's not on Moderation. Chitin has college work and Vesica has a real job and kids to take care of. We can't continue looking at Moderation as if they're not real human beings with real lives. I know that's not what many of you think or believe but it seemsas if you want moderation to be at your beck and call 24/7. And I say all of this respectively.

I must agree with jellybean, however, about the rules. I mean, my gosh they are...byzantine at best just like he said, however, I follow them. Do I wish some rules would change? Of course! I can't wait until Moderation opens community discussions on the rules so I can make my thoughts known. While I've been on the receiving end of Moderation knocking some of my content for plagiarism (a treaty which should not count but game rules say it does), and I took my consequences like a man, a real life sexy man that I am. Anyways, if any of you get a chance, read Sections 4-7 of the game rules. I, and this is my opinion, believe that Moderation as followed the rules as specifically as possible and have not seen any wrongdoing on part of the Moderation tag team.

3. Comment Edits, Deletes, and More.
jellybean wrote:Most recently, when Aquinas complained of being called a "cancer" and asked to be given a reason for his ban from the Discord server, Moderation quietly deleted his comment on RobMark's thread (which has also gone unanswered) and edited his comment on the Moderation Queries thread. Since many of us already saw those comments, I cannot fathom what Moderation must have been thinking in deleting them. Failing to answer queries is one thing - we all get busy, and we all miss things. I'm not going to get angry over a simple delay in answering a question. But deleting questions is a malicious act that sends the message that Moderation is not to be questioned, and that any attempt to do so will be met with hostility. It silences dissent and player feedback - in fact, I wondered whether I should even bother to write this comment, as there is a good chance Moderation will simply delete it


I honestly don't have much to say about this comment. I have not seen this happen as I don't read every comment all the way through, however, if this allegation is true, I believe Moderation should at best admit to it, apologize for it, and carry on with their duties. I don't think hostility should be at play here, however. I find it unproductive. But player feedback should never be modified or silenced.

4. Calling for Vesica's Resignation. I will say this out loud that I am 100% against this. Since being a part of the PT Community, I have seen some good Moderators and some bad ones. Vesica, just like James and Farsun, are (in my book) great moderators.

jellybean wrote:Until Vesica steps down from the Moderation Team and we receive some commitment to fairly, openly, and honestly apply rules, I personally will be unable to play Particracy.

I just don't think this comment is appropriate and that this action should be taken for two reasons; 1) It's your opinion (which you are entitled to) and we should not act on people's opinions, and 2) Players demanding moderators to resign does not end well for the player base. Trust me, I've seen what it could do. Believe me. As I've stated earlier, Moderation has followed the rules as specifically as possible. I do believe that they would like to change the rules, however, have not gotten around to it because they are missing a 3rd moderator that has yet to be confirmed by Wouter (he must be living his best life and I won't fault him for it).
============================================
I believe that some people fail to understand what it means to be a moderator, and I don't fault them for it because they probably have never been one themselves. Let me tell you, IT IS A LOT OF WORK! A LOT! Combining real-life responsibilities with your responsibilities to the player base of an rpg takes a lot out of a person. But I also don't want to shit on everyone else's comments here because they are all valid and should be respected. However, I don't think that some comments or reasoning are justified. Comments like the following:

Kubrick wrote:So yes, +1, what a disgrace for a mod team we have. Can't wait for the staff endorsed North-American Militia to jump on those who +1'd this.


does no justice to the conversation at hand and honestly is xenophobic at best...respectively saying. I've been on the receiving end of such comments from people like kub and Aquinas before and honestly, it's not healthy. If you don't like playing "fairly" with people from another county, either 1) quit playing, or 2) Moderation should just suspend you, because it honestly make it seem as if its an American vs British thing, which it most certainly isn't. As soon as two people from North America were appointed to the Moderation Team, there has been many comments like the one Kubrick made. Luckily for guys like that, I'm not on the moderation team. I'm sure that if I was, I would be 100% effective as I am.

But, thank you jellybean for raising this issue and allowing for public comments to be made. I truly respect you for it and those of you whose views are opposing to mine. I hope that my opinions, and presented facts from the rules, can be well-received as the other comments have been.
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